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Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies

History Major

By engaging in the fascinating study of how people in the past understood their worlds, graduates from the Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies will be prepared to comprehend and think critically about the present by understanding how it has been shaped by the past. In their studies they will learn how to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of alternative explanations for historical events, how to interpret primary and secondary materials to form valid conclusions, how to analyze components of historical events, and how to synthesize and apply their knowledge in an original research project.

The Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies offers both a B.A. and a B.S. degree in History. The B.A. degree requires the completion of two years of a modern language at the college level and is recommended for students desiring a rich liberal arts education or planning for graduate school or law school (see Bachelor of Arts Requirement using a Second Language). The B.S. degree does not have a modern language requirement but, instead, requires an appropriate minor. Students transferring to NDSU must complete at least 50 percent of their history credits at North Dakota State University. A History Education program of study also is offered between the Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies and the School of Education.

History majors can prepare themselves for careers in secondary education by completing a double major with either a B.A. or B.S. in History with a second major in History Education. The department advises students to choose History as their primary major.

Lists of approved courses for the distribution and sequence requirements and courses recommended for History Education majors are at the department web site.


Public History Major

The major requires 51 credits in history courses, including a nine-credit internship. An additional 18 credits in supplementary vocational courses or an approved minor to prepare for a career in public history are also required. The Public History program prepares students for employment in fields such as archives and museums, historical editing, historic preservation, costume conservation, and archeology. The 18 credit supplementary vocational courses are divided into three tracks: 1) museums, intended to prepare students for work as a curator, interpreter, or administrator in museums, 2) archives, intended to prepare students for work with documents and/or photographs in a archival repository, and 3) historical preservation, intended to prepare students to work with the National Historic Preservation legislation to identify historic buildings and sites throughout the nation. For more details regarding the courses available for the 18 credit distribution courses or 18 credit vocational supplement, refer to the Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies web site.


History Minor

Students who minor in History are required to complete nine credits of 100-200 level History courses and nine credits of 300-400 level History courses.



Humanities is a theme-centered interdisciplinary program in the arts, history, literature, philosophy, and religion. Through interdisciplinary study, students develop an awareness and understanding of the major events and ideas that have shaped the civilization in which they live.

Philosophy-Humanities Major

People have always had questions about the world in which they live. Whether these questions are about truth, beauty, and goodness, or about whether life has any meaning, people find questions to ask. Over the centuries, many minds have addressed these questions. By means of dialogue, intuition, logic, and critical thought, philosophers have created pathways to wisdom and an understanding of the human condition.

North Dakota State University offers students a Philosophy curriculum that may be approached either as a Philosophy-Humanities major or minor.

The Philosophy-Humanities major consists of 30 semester credits. Of these, 21 credits must be taken from the required courses below. Nine elective credits, which can be independent studies, complete the major. Each degree has additional university and College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences requirements that must be fulfilled. For example, a B.A. requires two years or the equivalent of a foreign language, while the B.S. requires a minor in another field. Please check the university and college pages addressing additional requirements that must be fulfilled.


Philosophy-Humanities Minor

The Philosophy-Humanities minor consists of 21 semester credits: the major required courses plus six elective credits from the elective philosophy courses, including independent studies.


Independent Study

Independent study may be pursued by students wanting to read a special philosophical topic (e.g. aesthetics) or read the work of a particular philosopher. To initiate independent study, the student must contact the department.

Religious Studies

From 1932 to 1977 the School of Religion was independent from the university but in close association with it. Currently, Religion Studies continues as a part of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Religious Studies Minor

A minor in Religious Studies is available. The minor consists of 20 credits of which 12 credits may be at the 100-200 level and eight credits must be at the 300-400 level. For advice on the distribution of the remainder of the electives, consult with the department.


Social Science Major

A special interdisciplinary Social Science major is available. It includes courses from disciplines such as history, economics, political science, geography, psychology, sociology, or anthropology. Students can obtain the appropriate curriculum guides from the School of Education, Office of Registration and Records, or the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Office.

Before taking advanced course work required for the Social Science major, the student should complete at least one year in each of the required disciplines. In addition, students should complete course work in economics and world history.

Students who wish to prepare for high school teaching should make this intention known to the School of Education before entering their junior year to ensure that state teacher certification requirements are met.


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Undergraduate Bulletin
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7981 / Toll Free: +1 (800) 608-6378 / Fax: (701) 231-8959
Campus address: Ceres Hall 110
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5210 / P.O. Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Office of Registration and Records

Last Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2013 10:25:08 AM